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Advice to incoming freshmen.

  1. May 28, 2012 #1
    Well it's that time of the year again. A levels are finishing up and the Leaving Cert for me is about to begin and all of a sudden you realise your hopefully going to be a freshman next year.

    I would like to start this thread as the source of advice for freshmen. If the PF community would be so kind as to give us any little flakes or huge nuggets of golden advice to make our transition just a little bit easier.

    The advice can be directed towards Math / Physics / Comp-Sci majors specifically or just general advice regarding everyday college life. Whether it be about accommodation, clubs and societies, books or advice about study.

    So I ask you PF community have you any advice for a soon to be math/phys major?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2012 #2
    I think to start studying ahead of time is a good idea. Then you can at least worry about transitioning into your new lifestyle without simultaneously having to think about coursework.
  4. May 28, 2012 #3
    Stay open-minded. There are a lot of interesting things to learn in any discipline. I came to college hating math, and now I'm getting ready to study math in grad school.

    For math students in particular:

    Don't stress too much about learning to write proofs. It'll be hard, and it'll be different from purely computational math, but you can get through it.

    Take similar classes close together if you can. I took Diff Eq two years after my last calc class, and I had forgotten almost everything.

    Studying for math classes means doing lots of practice problems. It stinks, but you've got to do it. Not studying or just flipping through the book is especially bad if you're taking an exam that's worth, say, 20% of your grade rather than the little exams you take in high school.
  5. May 28, 2012 #4
    One advice: Do not get training, get education. Mathematics and physics as they are taught on mass scale represent training. Education is a life long process. Expand into other disciplines, read books, take theater classes, read poetry, etc.

    Also, find out who the great professors are at your school and take classes with them. Even if its completely out of beaten path for you. I took a class on medieval English poetry and it was life changing. I still love physics and math to death :)
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